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Become A Pipeline Operator

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Working As A Pipeline Operator

  • Controlling Machines and Processes
  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Handling and Moving Objects
  • Getting Information
  • $66,270

    Average Salary

Example Of What A Pipeline Operator does

  • Unload of crude oil from unit trains into our storage tanks.
  • Subject to call outs and emergency response at all times.
  • Used Scada resources on a daily basis.
  • Performed routine maintenance operations including insulating lines, pigging, valve maintenance and replacement.
  • Performed field activities on the pipeline facilities including: corrosion control, dehydration, measurement, and overall system integrity.
  • Plan, schedule, and manage pipeline maintenance work.
  • Assist with petroleum product movements in and out of pipeline terminals and/or pump stations.
  • Completed annual reviews of OSHA required training classes as assigned by supervisor.
  • Supervised and trained Conoco Production Technicians to operate the pipeline after start up.
  • Performed preventative maintenance; fitting, threading, and installing piping, tank gauging, oil sampling and testing.
  • Operated and troubleshoot Gas flare on certain locations.
  • Ensured compliance with Health, Environmental, and Safety policies and Procedures.
  • Monitored the alarm log to be proactive in case of an emergency.
  • Worked with other natural gas and construction company's at compressor stations for maintenance and repairs.
  • Supervised and taught weekly safety meetings.
  • Streamlined pipeline operations while keeping pipeline efficiency at a high level.
  • Prepared bid packages and proposals for contractor's cost for pipeline construction projects.
  • Operated and maintained multiple pipeline systems for client in the Eagle Ford Shale.
  • Performed maintenance to pipeline, booster stations and lact units.
  • Monitored crude oil pipeline systems via computer based on SCADA system.

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How To Become A Pipeline Operator

Education and training requirements vary by the occupation. Crane operators and excavating machine operators usually have several years of experience in related occupations, such as construction equipment operators or hoist or winch operators.


Although no formal education is usually required, some companies prefer material moving machine operators to have a high school diploma. For crane operators, excavating machine operators, and dredge operators, however, a high school diploma or equivalent is typically required.


Most material moving machine operators are trained on the job in less than a month. Some machines are more complex than others, such as cranes as compared with industrial trucks such as forklifts. Therefore, the amount of time spent in training will vary with the type of machine the operator is using. Learning to operate a forklift or an industrial truck in warehouses, for example, may take only a few days. Training to operate a crane for port operations may take several months. Most workers are trained by a supervisor or another experienced employee.

The International Union of Operating Engineers offers apprenticeship programs for heavy equipment operators, such as excavating machine operators or crane operators. Apprenticeships combine paid on-the-job training with technical instruction.

During their training, material moving machine operators learn a number of safety rules, many of which are standardized through the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) and the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). Employers must certify that each operator has received the proper training. Operators who work with hazardous materials receive further specialized training.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

A number of states and several cities require crane operators to be licensed. To get a license, operators typically must complete a skills test in which they show that they can control a crane. They also must pass a written exam that tests their knowledge of safety rules and procedures. Some crane operators and industrial truck and tractor operators may obtain certification, which includes passing a written exam.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Crane operators and excavating machine operators usually have several years of experience working as construction equipment operators or hoist and winch operators. 

Important Qualities

Alertness. Material moving machine operators must be aware of their surroundings while operating machinery.

Hand–eye–foot coordination. Material moving machine operators should have steady hands and feet to guide and control heavy machinery precisely. They use hand controls to maneuver their machines through tight spaces, around large objects, and on uneven surfaces.

Mechanical skills. Material moving machine operators make minor adjustments to their machines and perform basic maintenance.

Visual ability. Material moving machine operators must be able to clearly see where they are driving or what they are moving. They must also watch for nearby workers, who may unknowingly be in their path.

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Pipeline Operator jobs

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Pipeline Operator Demographics


  • Male

  • Female

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Asian

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

  • Danish

  • Italian

  • Portuguese

  • French

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Pipeline Operator

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Pipeline Operator Education

Pipeline Operator

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Top Skills for A Pipeline Operator


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Top Pipeline Operator Skills

  1. Pipeline Operations
  2. Safety Meetings
  3. Safety Procedures
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Manage all accounting associated with pipeline operations including equipment inventory, product inventory, and purchasing.
  • Conducted and scheduled monthly Safety Meetings for the plant as Safety Coordinator.
  • Implement safety procedures used to pig pipeline, i.e.
  • Performed field activities on the pipeline facilities including: corrosion control, dehydration, measurement, and overall system integrity.
  • Ensured compliance with all Federal, State and Company regulations, policies, guidelines, and procedures.

Top Pipeline Operator Employers

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